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2015 Budget: $78 Oil Price Benchmark Unrealistic – Saraki



Bukola-Saraki-Former Kwara State Governor and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has declared that the $78 oil benchmark being proposed by the Federal Government for 2015 budget is unrealistic.

Saraki, who also demanded a full disclosure of the state of the nation’s economy, raised the alarm that the revenue base was buckling under the stress of falling price of oil in the international market.

He said the proposed oil benchmark of $78 per barrel for the 2015 budget was not realistic, adding that the Federal Government needed to tell Nigerians the truth about the financial status of the country.

“We have a problem in our hands, but not one that cannot be surmounted with the right political will”, he said.

The senator, therefore, called for a meeting of the National Economic Council, to proffer a collective and workable decision on the national contingency and viable benchmark for oil price.

According to Saraki, crude oil theft, sustenance of subsidy on kerosene, granting pioneer status to some oil companies, as well as the controversial oil SWAP project of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), are some of the problems affecting government’s revenue.

“These are troubling times for the Nigerian economy. Our revenue base is caving in under the stress of falling price of oil in the international market. Due to the drastic and persistent nature of this fall from the highs of $115 in June, it is my considered view that we can’t continue to give the impression that it is business as usual.

“The fact that the free fall in the international oil market price has seen it losing over 25 per cent of early June highs means that correspondingly, our economy has lost over 25 per cent of budget revenue estimates of the period as a result.

“More ominously, the fact that it continues to fall unabated means that it is not getting better yet and, therefore, we must now apply the brakes and act fast before they get out of hand”, he advised.

Aside the issue of the benchmark, the ex-governor said the country needed a contingency plan in place.

“There is no country leadership that can continue to act like business as usual where it faces over 25 per cent drop in its annual revenues.

“Our foreign reserves have depleted considerably from the heights it had achieved of over $58 billion to the $39 billion we have now. What this means is that we have small room to maneuver than we had in 2008.

“Since most of this cost will be borne by the capital side of expenditure, there is a likelihood that the implication will be in job losses, unemployment, social imbalance etc. None of the impact will be positive”, he added.

Senator Saraki said “what is required now is the right political will and leadership from government”.


Umahi Sacks Tertiary Institution’s Boards Headed By Ex-Minister, Ambassador



Umahi Sacks Tertiary Institution’s Boards Headed By Ex-Minister, Ambassador

Dave Umahi

Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, on Tuesday sacked sixteen Technical Assistants.

The development was disclosed in a statement released by Umahi through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala.

He also announced the dissolution of governing boards of the state’s two tertiary education institutions.

Also Read: Gov. Umahi Sacks Political Appointees From Ohaukwu LGA

The boards dissolved are the Ebonyi State University Governing Council and the Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo Governing Boards.

The two boards are headed by Ambassador Franklin Ogbuewu and a former Minister of State for Health, Fidelis Nwankwo.

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Saraki Leads PDP’s Nati youonal Reconciliation Panel



 Saraki Leads PDP’s National Reconciliation Panel

Bukola Saraki

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been appointed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the chairman of its National Reconciliation Committee.

The committee made up of five other members is expected to work to resolve grievances and disagreements among party members across the country.

Also Read: Saraki Reacts To Kidnap, Killing Of Worshippers In Zamfara Mosque

This development was confirmed in a tweet late on Monday night by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.

Other members of the committee are former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Ayim; former Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); as well as former House Minority Leader, Mulikat Akande.


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Fashola: If We Keep Our Promises, APC Will Retain Power In 2023



    Fashola: If We Keep Our Promises, APC Will Retain Power In 2023Babatunde Fashola

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has expressed optimism that Nigerians will still vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) back to power in 2023.

Fashola, however, added that the only thing that can make Nigerians not to vote for the APC is if the party fails to fulfill its campaign promises to them.

The Minister made this remark while speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja.

Also Read: APC Governors’ Visit To Jonathan Is An Endorsement Of Our Party – PDP

He noted that even if the promises are not 100% fulfilled but the citizens see signs of commitment and progress, other parties should forget about displacing APC in 2023.

The former Lagos State Governor added that opposition parties are not doing better than the APC, hence should not expect Nigerians to vote for them come 2023.

He said: “Some governors have joined us, from where we think we could not get voters before. To retain power in 2023, certainly if we keep our promises, people will vote for us. It is that simple, that is politics,” the former Lagos governor said.

“If you do what you say you will do, even if you don’t do hundred percent and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish what you started.”

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